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Murray Lefkowitz

A comic or grotesque interlude in a Masque , normally preceding the terminal dances of the masquers. There were usually more than one and they consisted of a variety of spoken dialogue, pantomime, singing and dancing. Unlike the grand masquing dances, which were performed by a group of nobility from the floor of the hall, antimasques were usually danced by professional actors from the stage.

In contrast to the serious matter of the main masque (allegory, mythology, deus ex machina) the themes of the antimasques concentrated on mundane humour and the bizarre: the low-class comedy of beggars, disabled and alcholic persons, housewives and shopkeepers, barmaids and chimney-sweeps, foreigners, criminals, soldiers and common labourers; the pantomimed antics of dancing birds, bears, cats, apes and baboons; and the fantastical capers of furies, witches, spirits, sprites, satyrs and other magical beings. The spoken burlesques, usually in low prose, often imitated folk characters and situations, as well as ...


Ballet d’action  

M. Elizabeth C. Bartlet

[ballet en action, ballet pantomime; pantomime ballet] (Fr.)

A stage work in which a dramatic story is conveyed through gesture, dance and instrumental music. It developed in part as a reaction against the divertissement in opera, in which dance is designed to delight the eye and depict a general mood, and the opera-ballet, where vocal music has an important role and plots are loosely constructed. Some consider it as analogous to the ‘reform opera’ of Gluck. Key exponents in France in the second half of the 18th century and the first part of the 19th were the choreographers Jean-Georges Noverre, Gaetano Vestris and the Gardel brothers. Their successors, among them Pierre Aumer and Filippo Taglioni, followed this tradition, and with changes in technique and costuming are credited with the creation of the Romantic ballet....


Ballet du XXème Siècle  



Richard Hudson and Suzanne G. Cusick

(It.; Fr. ballet; Eng. ballett)

An Italian dance of the 16th and 17th centuries, occasionally called ‘bal’ or ‘ballo’. There seem to be three periods of development, two instrumental and one vocal: for lute during the second half of the 16th century; for voice from 1591 to about 1623; and for chamber ensemble from about 1616 to the end of the 17th century.

The term ‘balletto’ was also applied at the same time in a more general sense. It was used as early as 1581 by Fabritio Caroso as a heading for some of the choreographies published in Il ballarino, and Cesare Negri (Le gratie d’amore, 1602) used it alongside the apparently similar ‘ballo’ and ‘brando’ as a title for his created social and theatrical dances (see Ballo). In Barbetta’s Intavolatura di liuto (1585) ‘balletto’ indicates a dance from a foreign country. Some late 16th-century references use the word ‘balletto’ for theatrical or dramatic dances that would have been called ‘ballets’ in France (see A. Solerti: ...


Balletto: Instrumental  

Richard Hudson

The Italian instrumental balletto appeared from about 1561 to 1599 (mainly for lute) and from 1616 to 1700 (for chamber ensemble). During the second half of the 16th century, ‘bal’, ‘ballo’ or ‘balletto’ was a generic name in Italy for various foreign dances, such as the bal boemo, ballo francese and baletto polaco. Barbetta in 1585 referred to them collectively as ‘baletti de diverse nationi’. The most numerous were those indicating Germanic origin: the bal todescho (in Gorzanis’s lutebooks of 1561, 1563 and 1564), the ‘todescha’ or ‘tedescha’ (Mainerio’s ensemble collection of 1578), balo todesco (Gorzanis, 1579), baletto todesco (Barbetta, 1585), ballo tedesco (Terzi, 1593) and finally ballo or balletto alemano (Terzi, 1599). Similar terminology continued in the guitar books of the first half of the 17th century. Some of the earlier chamber examples are also entitled ‘balletto alemano’ (Biagio Marini, 1617, 1626 and ...


Balletto: Vocal  

Suzanne G. Cusick

Both Morley and Praetorius (Syntagma musicum, iii, 1618, pp.18–19) considered the Mantuan composer G.G. Gastoldi to have invented the vocal balletto as a musical genre with his publication in 1591 of the Balletti a cinque voci con li suoi versi per cantare, sonare, & ballare (ed. in Le pupitre, x, 1968). These works enjoyed great popularity, being reprinted many times in Italy and northern Europe up to the mid-17th century. In most of his ballettos Gastoldi set strophic texts in a homophonic texture, with sections of nonsense syllables (‘fa-la’, ‘na-na’, ‘li-rum’) interpolated at the ends of couplets or tercets. Nearly all consist of two repeated strains (AABB) and the nonsense syllables, sometimes set contrapuntally, act as a refrain at the end of each section. The songs are syllabic and rather repetitious, the strophic form limiting the opportunities to depict the content of the verses, and all are highly rhythmic. It is likely that Gastoldi’s songs were originally part of a costumed dance, perhaps performed at the theatrically active Mantuan court or at an academy; the title-page states that they were for ‘singing, playing and dancing’. Each has a descriptive title (e.g. ...



Alison E. Arnold

The term Bollywood is used variously to refer to the mainstream Indian film industry, to Bombay (now Mumbai) Hindi cinema, to Hindi cinema from the 1990s onward, and most recently to an Indian culture industry encompassing Hindi films and related commercial products distributed via satellite and cable TV, radio, DVD and video, CD and MP3, and Internet websites. Some Indian film producers and actors consider the term pejorative, in referencing a Hollywood clone, but it gained currency when Indian popular cinema began to attract international attention. The deregulation of India’s media industries in the 1990s encouraged Bollywood filmmakers to reach out to the large overseas Indian diasporic market.

The commercial Hindi film is typically a three-hour-long melodrama mixing romance, comedy, action, intrigue, and several elaborate song and dance sequences. Since the early 1990s Bollywood films have featured elements indicative of the new global orientation, including a greater use of English words and phrases, and foreign locations employed not merely as exotic song and dance contexts but as homelands in which Indian nationals reside. Producer Yash Chopra’s ...


Boston (ii)  


Bouffons, Les  



Kazadi Wa Mukuna

(Ox Festival)

Bumba-meu-Boi, the brincadeira (‘play, amusement’), is an indigenous secular folk drama first documented in the early 19th century denouncing prevailing social conditions in Brazil. The drama contains dialogue, music, and dance. The performance of Bumba-meu-Boi periodically adapts to contemporary realities and offers participants a devotional opportunity to renew their personal covenant with an adopted saint (see Cascudo, 1952).

The narrative of Bumba-meu-Boi follows a storyline that revolves around the symbolic theme of the death and the resurrection of the master’s ox of reproduction (for a complete transcription of the storyline recorded in Maranhão see Mukuna 2016). The presentation of Bumba-meu-Boi involves such characters as the Boi Estrela (‘Star Ox’), Amo the Portuguese master, his wife Dona Maria, Pai Franciso the African slave, his pregnant wife Mãe Catirina, the priest, chief of police, Indians, and sundry allegorical characters called Cazumbas.

In the state of Maranhão the festival of Bumba-meu-Boi occurs during the ...



Eugène Borrel


A dance, likely from Africa, that spread through Spanish America and the southern USA. The earliest known description dates from 1698, when Père Lavat (Nouveau voyage aux isles de l’Amérique, ii, 51), who called it the calenda, recorded having seen it danced, with a drum accompaniment, on Martinique. It was considered indecent by some Christian communities and subsequently forbidden, but was not wholly suppressed among the slaves....








Clog dance  



Eurides de Souza Santos

A musical genre and a popular cultural event involving music, dance, and poetry. It is found across a wide geographic and cultural area in Northeastern Brazil, especially in urban and rural areas of the states of Sergipe, Alagoas, Pernambuco, Paraíba, and Rio Grande do Norte. Although there is no way to date with certainly the historical emergence of the term or its associated musical practices, scholars generally agree that coco developed among Northeastern Afro-Brazilians during the period of slavery (from the late 16th century to 1888).

Coco can be divided into two major subgenres: coco de embolada, which is characterized by poetic duels between singers who accompany themselves on the pandeiro (a Brazilian tambourine) or the ganzá (a kind of shaken rattle); and coco de roda, a ring dance. Coco songs are predominantly organized in strophic form with the repetition of phrases or words, or else are organized as stanzas that alternate with a repeated refrain. These stanzas, commonly sung by a soloist, comprise traditional verses as well as textual and musical improvisation....


Company (i)  

John Rosselli

Though the term has at times been used of Travelling troupes , in English it is more often applied to groups of singers who put on opera in a single theatre.

In Italy, where public opera was for many years given only during a season of about two months, a company was as a rule the group of singers contracted for that season only, most of whom moved on after it had ended. At most, the Naples royal theatres (S Carlo and Fondo) between about 1740 and 1860 engaged artists for a year. Opera houses capable of fielding two groups of soloists (the S Carlo and La Scala, Milan, in most years) were said to have a ‘double company’. After the breakdown of the seasonal system in the late 19th century a company was a group assembled, however briefly, to perform an opera or operas ( see Season ).

In Central Europe, where opera was long centred on courts, companies were more nearly permanent. At Eszterháza during Haydn’s tenure the median length of stay of Italian singers was between two and three years, but German singers stayed much longer (as did a very few Italians). Haydn could therefore count on a known array of (by and large mediocre) resources. In Paris, singers engaged by the opera houses under royal or, after the Revolution, government patronage were paid monthly salaries and approximated to the condition of civil servants; some stayed on for many years. Provincial French opera houses from the late 18th century to the early 20th usually engaged a company once a year for a season that might last from four to ten months. Much the same was and to some extent is still true of Central Europe. Since the 1950s, however, singers have been highly mobile; even those formally attached to a company (those of the two London opera houses included) may at times perform elsewhere....


Connolly, Bobby  

Mary Jo Lodge

(b New York, NY, July 4, 1887; d Encino, CA Feb 29, 1944). American choreographer, director, and producer. He was a choreographer and dance director of Broadway musicals in the 1920s and 30s. He also directed several shows on Broadway before moving exclusively into choreographing early Hollywood film musicals. He began staging musical numbers on Broadway in 1926 with the musical Kitty’s Kisses. The long list of Broadway musicals he choreographed includes Good News (1927), George and Ira Gershwin’s Funny Face (1927), Sigmund Romberg’s The New Moon (1928), and The Ziegfeld Follies of 1931 and 1934. His first directing opportunity came with the stage musical Princess Charming in 1930, which, like The Ballyhoo of 1932, was one of a handful he also produced. He first worked as a dance director for film on Moonlight and Pretzels (1933), which was shot in New York. He then served as choreographer, dance director, or musical stager on a series of films for Warner Bros. and then MGM in California, most famously ...


Cupis, Ferdinand-Joseph  

Julie-Anne Sadie

[de Camargo, Ecuyer Seigneur de Renoussant]

Member of Cupis de Camargo family

(b Brussels, bap. Feb 29, 1684; d Paris, March 19, 1757). Franco-Flemish teacher of music and dancing. He taught in Brussels before moving to Paris about 1725–6 with his wife, Marie-Anne de Smedt (married 2 August 1709), and their children. Described as a ‘symphoniste externe’, he also played for Parisian society balls and continued to teach....


Daniele, Graciela  

Mary Jo Lodge

(b Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec 8, 1939). American director, choreographer, and performer. Trained in classical ballet at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Daniele became a professional dancer at age 14. She performed for several years with ballet companies in South America and Europe and came to the United States in 1964 to learn American-style jazz dance. She made her Broadway debut in the musical What Makes Sammy Run? that same year, which led to several more Broadway roles. She first assisted prominent Broadway director/choreographers Michael Bennett and Bob Fosse before taking the helm herself on numerous shows, first as a choreographer and then adding the director’s role. She choreographed major Broadway productions as The Pirates of Penzance (1981), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1985), and Ragtime (1998), and three Woody Allen films, including Mighty Aphrodite (1995). Daniele’s first Broadway production as a director/choreographer was ...